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British Industrial History

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W. and E. Raikes-Bell

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of Dundee

Francis William Raikes-Bell and Edward Rutherford Bell

1901 Bankruptcy Examination.— The examination was held in Dumbarton on Friday last, of Edward Rutherford Bell and William Raikes Bell, partners in the firm Bell Bros., Basin Chemical Works and Grinding Mills, Kirkintilloch.[1]

1906 1906 Scottish Motor and Cycle Exhibition. 'An interesting display, occupying the eastern end the exhibition, put forward by the new Dundee motor firm of Bell (Mr Raikes Bell, South Ward Road), who are showing bold initiative in advancing the merits of a gas and oil engine for use in farm work to eclipse the old and cumbersome methods. They are also showing a 25 h.p. motor oar, "The Iris," embodying many up-to-date ideas, well as other cars.'[2]

1907 'DUNDEE MOTOR BUILDING COMPANY. ANOTHER CAR TO BE CONSTRUCTED. That really strenuous efforts are being put forth, to establish, a motor car establishment in Dundee, as announced in the "Courier" of Friday last, is indicated by the fact that the gentlemen interested have orders for the building of a second car, which, like its prototype, will be entered for the reliability trials. The first car now almost completed, and of 24-h.p., with six cylinders, while the second car will possess the power, but will only have four cylinders. Both cars are of the touring type, and the utmost care is being exercised in their construction. The task of building the care has been entrusted to Messrs F. W. Raikes Bell and E. R. Bell, motor engineers, South Ward Road, and no expense is being spared the way of supplying the very finest material. One of the leading gentlemen interested in the movement stated to a "Courier"' representative yesterday that they were confident of success, and that before the end cf the year they expected to have the building of the works well in hand. It was their intention purchase six acres of ground in the Maryfield district, and to start the Company with capital of £200,000. He added that the machines would be practically perfect in construction, and bar ill-luck, should take a high place the trials.'[3]

1907 'It is good learn that the first Dundee built motor car is now running, and that two other cars are in process of building at the works of Mr W. Raikes Bell. The car now running is in reality a Dundee-built car. With the exception of the engine and radiator and the tyres the car has been made in the city, the component parts, including the electrical fittings, being of local manufacture. In many ways Dundee has taken a lead in the motor car movement, and local pioneers like Mr Thomas Shaw have rendered invaluable service in fostering the movement. So far as the booming of industry is concerned Dundee folks have done heir part. Tho time lias como v.hen the community should share in the wages distribution and profits of the motor car industry, and the fact that a Duudee-huilt car of the best type is now running should rouse Dundonians take action in establishing motor building industry.'[4]

1907 Advertisement. W. Raikes Bell. Motor Car Engineer and Agent. South Ward Road, Dundee.[5]

1907 'Class 3 — 20-24 h.p. Werbell, entered Mr W. Raikes Bell, South Ward Road, Dundee, 725 for reliability and starting, 68.6 for fuel consumption. 75.4 for hill climbs— total, 869'[6]

1907-1909 Produced a 20/24hp automobile branded 'Werbell'

1901 'W. RAIKES BELL, DUNDEE. This firm will now be known as W. Raikes Bell & Co., Messrs W. & E. R. Bell having assumed J. Kirkland as partner. As Kirkland is a practical engineer with a large engineering experience, his services should be of considerable value to tho new firm. Messrs Bell have recently made considerable alterations and additions to their premises and plant, and claim now to have one of the best equipped motor repairing works in the North-East of Scotland. They have made specialty of building cars clients' own specifications and begin the winter with four 25 hp. cars on order, one of these being for the Earl of Strathmore. The "Werbell" is their own specialty and many of these excellent cars are now on the road throughout tho district, and are meeting with marked favour. Amongst the agencies held are the Albion, Belsize, Lanchester, and Sunbeam. These cars have been chosen as being particularly suitable in giving good results and at a low cost for upkeep, and also giving satisfactory running on hilly Forfarshire roads. The Albion commercial motor vehicles are, of course, exceptionally well known. The Lanchester car is slowly but surely wending its way into favour, and now that the makers are giving the option of wheel steering as well tiller steering, tho objection hitherto made to tiller steering being the only mode has now been removed.'[7]

1914 Company dissolved. Sale of business equipment.[8]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Kirkintilloch Gazette - Saturday 11 May 1901
  2. Dundee Courier - Friday 26 January 1906
  3. Dundee Courier - Thursday 07 March 1907
  4. Dundee Evening Telegraph - Wednesday 24 April 1907
  5. Dundee Courier - Monday 12 November 1906
  6. Dundee Courier - Monday 29 July 1907
  7. Dundee Courier - Saturday 14 November 1908
  8. Dundee Courier - Saturday 17 October 1914
  • Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile